VideosRoxy Pro Gold CoastLakey Peterson

Lakey Peterson: Contender

Heading into the 2016 season Lakey Peterson was considered one of the most dangerous up-and-coming World Title threats. She'd finished No. 6 on the Jeep Leaderboard two years in a row, and showing strong signs of growth.

Lakey Peterson of the USA advanced to the quarterfinals after winning Heat 2 of Round Four at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Australia. Peterson's year of waiting patiently is paying off now. She's been ready to pounce for quite some time. WSL / Kelly Cestari

But weeks before she was to head to the Gold Coast she broke her ankle badly while surfing at home. Instead of battling for a title, she sat out the first five events of the season.

Determined to get back where she belongs Lakey trained hard, observed carefully, and listened intently to her support crew. It's working. She was on fire all week at Snapper Rocks, dropping 10s and near-10s in her heats. She finished with a strong runner-up finish in the Roxy Pro. A huge step toward her master plan: "Heck yeah I want to win a World Title!" She responds when asked.

Lakey Peterson warms up at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast. Peterson's pre-heat warmup routine is one of many sources of her power. WSL / Sherm

"I learned a lot watching from the sidelines last year," Lakey explained from the Roxy Pro podium. "I saw something click for Tyler last year and I knew I wanted to get a piece of whatever that was."

Not a bad idea.

Lakey was clicking this week...and then some.

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